Papier Mâché Masks
My first inspirations as a mask maker were the papier mâché masks of the medieval Venetian maschereri guilds - especially the mysterious 'Bauta' character and those of the Commedia dell'Arte. Papier mâché is light, surprisingly tough, and lends itself to complex mouldings of rigid forms. Each papier mâché mask begins life as a hand-sculpted clay mould, which I then cast in plaster and carefully layer with strips of specialist papers. The resulting form is repeatedly gessoed and sanded to the required finish, then trimmed, painted, decorated and sealed as appropriate. During this final stage, each mask takes on its own persona; no two masks will ever be identical, even if made from the same mould.
Click the thumbnails for more information. Where applicable, number tags on images indicate several similar designs.